What is a mole?
Moles, also called nevi, or benign neoplasms, are flat or elevated skin growths comprised of "nevus" cells that come in many shapes, types and sizes:
- Pigmented, hair-bearing
What causes moles?
Some moles are present in early life, while others may form and/or darken after exposure to the sun. Moles can become darker and larger during puberty and pregnancy, or when malignant.
How do we remove moles?
Removal of a mole may be indicated if it changes in size, color, shape, becomes painful, crusted or bleeds. We recommend removing some moles because that may have the potential to become a malignant skin cancer. You may also choose to have moles removed if they are cosmetically undesirable or if their location subjects them to undue rubbing and discomfort.
Removal methods include:
- Excision: A surgical procedure that involves cutting out a mole with a scalpel and closing the site with sutures.
- Punch excision: A minimal surgical procedure that involves removing the mole with a cylindrical cookie cutter-like instrument called a "punch".
- Shave removal: A surgical procedure where an elevated lesion is shaved flat. Some pigment may remain after a shave removal.
What can I expect?
An initial examination and consultation will be followed by a discussion of your removal options. Surgical removal of unwanted moles is painless at Orentreich Medical Group as the area is completely anesthetized prior to removal. When a mole is removed surgically, it may be sent to a lab for biopsy to ensure that all the cells in the growth are normal.
Some removal methods will require a suture closure, which may require you to return to the office in one week to remove the sutures. You will be advised on how to care for your removal site to ensure an optimal cosmetic outcome.
Have a question about your treatment? We have a dedicated triage nurse (RN) who answers patient questions during office hours. If you have a problem or question about a procedure or a prescribed medication, please call our office and ask to speak to our nurse. If she is unable to answer your question, she will consult with your practitioner and return your call.